18 October 2023- The Senate Law and Justice Committee today approved a bill introduced by Sen. Judy Ward (R-30), Senate Bill 882, that would expand wine and spirit options for customers at restaurants and taverns across Pennsylvania.
“My bill would ensure customers have access to a wider selection of wines and spirits when they eat at restaurants and taverns,” Ward said. “This is a commonsense approach to ensure that products in high demand are available to consumers and to prevent suppliers from being penalized for being too successful.”
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) may restrict the sale of any product directly from suppliers to liquor licensees through the special-order wine and spirit sales system. Under the current regulatory scheme, the PLCB can change the threshold at any time.
“Businesses need certainty, and this legislation provides concrete guidelines for restaurants and taverns when it comes to the special-order system,” says Ward. “This will prevent arbitrary changes by the Liquor Control Board to the special-order limit from removing staple products that restaurants and taverns depend on to provide the service their customers expect.”
Ward’s Senate Bill 882 would enable suppliers to sell 72,000 bottles through the special order channel before the PLCB could prohibit additional orders. The bill also sets the timetable for measuring those sales to the calendar year.
Ward’s bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.